After locking new amphibious bus into garage for five days, Punjab tourism department on Sunday uncovered it at the Harike lake, confluence of Sutlej and Beas river.
The new bus was brought on the intervening night of February 13 and 14 to replace the previous one which was inaugurated by Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on December 12 amid much fanfare. As it was locked since then, nobody had clue of it as to how it looks.
In presence of few mediapersons, it was taken out of the garage on Sunday. Those who witnessed the new bus termed it far better than the previous one in terms of aesthetics. Technology wise too, it is much more advanced, said the employees of the department.
Unlike first bus, which was reportedly made in Goa, this bus has been imported from the United States of America. However, it was assembled in Goa and has 48 seats. As the first bus was sent back to Goa, people had been making different remarks on the social media and termed it as a ‘failed’ dream project of Sukhbir.
When asked about it, Sanjeev Aggarwal, managing director of Krishna HoHo Solution firm, which is looking after the operations and maintenance of the much touted project, claimed, “I cannot comment on this as it is the concern of department, but can say that the previous one was just for trial to see whether the project will be successful or not.”
Notably, this new bus will have to go through trial process again. “A team of the Goa-based company will again make route marking for the bus. Within 15 days, the bus will be operational,” he added.
It may be recalled that the first bus was sent back confidentially. Still, the act was exposed and went viral on social media. The initial experiments done under this projects had put question marks on its future.